Pam Tillis Ranked: #188-#151

Pam Tillis Ranked

Introduction | #188-#151 | #151-#101 |

#100-#76 | #75-#51 | #50-#26 | #25-#1

We kick off the list with several collaborations and Christmas tunes, as well as the lion’s share of her work for Warner Bros. records.

To avoid spoilers, a playlist of all tracks can be found at the end of this post.  You can also access it here.

#188

“Twelve Days of Christmas”

Rhonda Vincent & Friends

It’s Christmas Time

2016

Traditional  

Produced by Rhonda Vincent

This recent Christmas track just barely qualifies for the list, as Tillis is given the “three French hens” line to share with Vincent, Lorrie Morgan, and Jeannie Seely.  It’s the only track where I struggled to identify Tillis at all, and I had to consult the liner notes to see which line she had been assigned.

Even if she’d had the line all to herself, I can’t imagine this going even one slot higher.  As I noted in the introduction, Christmas music is not my thing, and this song in particular is cruel and unusual punishment, as each verse gets longer and the end feels like it’s getting further and further away.

As with any Rhonda Vincent record, the picking is still great.  This would be a wonderful as an instrumental.

  

#187

“Sidewinder’s Symphony”

Music From Rustlers’ Rhapsody and Other Songs 

1985

Written by Pam Tillis, Janice Carnes, and Rick Carnes 

Produced by Steve Buckingham

I couldn’t locate a copy of the Police Academy 2 soundtrack from the same year, but Rustlers’ Rhapsody is available in its entirety on YouTube.  Tillis contributes “Sidewinder’s Symphony,” which sounds like it was written as the main character’s theme song.

It’s most notable for being an early attempt of hers to put the Western in Country & Western music.  She would later revisit this sound in a much more compelling way on her All of This Love album with “Tequila Mockingbird,” which is ranked much higher than this.

You can listen to “Sidewinder’s Symphony” at the 15:23 mark of this clip.

 

#186

“Last Train to Clarksville”

Live at the Renaissance Center

2005

Written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart

Produced by Matt Spicher

Of the three tracks included from Live at the Renaissance Center, “Last Train to Clarksville” is the least essential.  It’s not a full performance of the Monkees classic.  Pam gives a strong reading of the sixties hit, but only sings a few lines before pivoting to introduce her band, which this track is used to showcase.

Some of Pam’s best recordings are covers of sixties and seventies classics.  Maybe this will show up properly on a future covers album or multi-artist compilation.

Other Voices:  The Monkees

 

#185

“Romeo”

Dolly Parton & Friends

Slow Dancing With the Moon

1993

Written by Dolly Parton 

Produced by Dolly Parton and Steve Buckingham

Ah, 1993.  When all of us were to suspend our collective disbelief and buy into the idea that five intelligent and sophisticated women – Dolly Parton, Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Tanya Tucker – were sent into lust-filled convulsions by Billy Ray Cyrus.

Tillis got one of her five Grammy nominations for this track, although she wasn’t in the video and her ad-lib on the record didn’t make it into the clip, either, so she’s less associated with this particular collaboration than the other five artists featured.

 

#184

“I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” (George Jones & Friends)

Walls Can Fall

1992

Written by Frank Dycus, Kerry Kurt Phillips, and Billy Yates 

Produced by Emory Gordy Jr. 

Pam Tillis won her first CMA Award for this collaboration with George Jones and a whole slew of young nineties country stars.  It loses points for making the two female artists – Tillis and Patty Loveless – share one line while all the male artists got individual lines to sing.

They sure do sound great together, though.  Why haven’t we gotten a Pam Tillis and Patty Loveless collaboration yet, maybe with Trisha Yearwood to finish off the Holy Trinity?

 

#183

“It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Easy”

Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey

1983

Written by Mark Gray, Shawna Harrington, and Les Taylor

Produced by Dixie Gamble-Bowen and Jolly Hills Productions

The only song not co-written by Pam on her debut album is “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Easy,” which was a big hit for Janie Fricke.

It’s a good way to understand why Tillis didn’t quite fit in either the pop or country market at the time.   You can hear her pining for her Nashville roots on this track, but the material itself is too wimpy for Tillis to sing it credibly.

The woman in this song isn’t easy.  She’s just being walked all over and shouldering the blame and shame for what the man is doing wrong.

You can’t get much further away from the Pam Tillis ethos than that.

Other Voices:  Janie Fricke

 

#182

“Every Home Should Have One”

Every Home Should Have One [Single]

1981

Written by Dominic Bugatti and Frank Musker

Produced by Steve Buckingham

Pam’s debut single is a mid-tempo slice of R&B, the kind that populated the radio in the pre-Whitney early eighties era.  She’s making the case that the guy who has it all needs “one loving woman” to make his house a home.

It’s interesting as a historical curiosity.  The B-side is better.  Patti Austin recorded it soon afterward, and it made the lead single and title track of her 1981 album. It was a minor hit.

Other Voices: Patti Austin

 

#181

“Let’s Get Crazy”

Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey

1983

Written by Pam Tillis and Peter Wood

Produced by Dixie Gamble-Bowen and Jolly Hills Productions

What in the name of time travel is this?

Okay, it’s not the Prince hit “Let’s Go Crazy” hit that blew up the following year, but it has a similar theme and sense of grandiosity.

Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey has Tillis trying on lots of different pop and rock styles.  This one straddles the line between pop and rock, like it can’t quite decide which style it wants to settle on.  It’s an early attempt at the genre fusion she’d perfect during her nineties heyday.

 

 

#180

“Holding On to What is Gone”

Every Home Should Have One [Single]

1981

Written by Jessica Boucher, Frank Saulino, and Jim Valentini

Produced by Steve Buckingham

The B-side to “Every Home Should Have One” has a deeper groove and a melancholy tone, as she takes inventory of a relationship that is nearing its end.

These are the only two recordings that she released for Elektra Records, and she moved to the Warner Bros. pop roster afterward.

“Holding On to What is Gone”  is not available on YouTube, but you can listen to it here.

 

#179

“You Don’t Miss”

Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey

1983

Written by Pam Tillis and Steve Goldstein

Produced by Dixie Gamble-Bowen and Jolly Hills Productions

The closest Pam ever got to releasing a full on rock track.

The grit and attitude here would resurface, particularly on her first two Arista albums.   There is an alternate timeline where Tillis is Nashville’s answer to Pat Benatar.

 

#178

“Make it Feel Better”

Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey

1983

Written by Pam Tillis, Pat Bunch, and Peter Wood

Produced by Dixie Gamble-Bowen and Jolly Hills Productions

“Make it Feel Better” is the first track we’ve covered so far that is similar in theme to her big nineties hits.  Here, she’s an independent woman who is feeling a bit lonely, and she’s looking for some love and support.  If not for tomorrow and beyond, then just tonight will do.

 

#177

“Precious Memories” (with Brenda Lee)

Gospel Duets With Treasured Friends

2007

Traditional

Produced by Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee gives a weathered reading of this gospel classic, which works very well sung from the perspective of an older woman.

The record doesn’t fully come alive until Pam’s harmony vocal kicks in, and she sings her own verse so beautifully that you can’t help but pine for a gospel album from her.

 

#176

“Popular Girl”

Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey

1983

Written by Pam Tillis, Callie Khouri, and Mel Tillis Jr.

Produced by Dixie Gamble-Bowen and Jolly Hills Productions

This sounds like a long lost Cyndi Lauper track. It could’ve been a B-side in the She’s So Unusual era.

One of the challenges Tillis faced with Above & Beyond the Doll of Cutey, and all of her Warner Bros. recordings really, is that her producers couldn’t match her intensity or deliver on her vision.  A more creative presentation of this song would’ve bumped it a lot higher on the list

 

#175

“Pretty Paper”

Just in Time For Christmas

2005

Written by Willie Nelson

Produced by Pam Tillis and Matt Spicher

This is a faithful, well-performed cover of the dreariest country Christmas song of all-time.

Other Voices:  Willie Nelson

 

#174

“Goodbye Highway”

Goodbye Highway [Single]

1984

Written by Pam Tillis, Mary Ann Kennedy, and Pat Rose

Produced by Steve Buckingham

Pam’s first country single is well-written and female-centric, as she takes her heartache in her own hands and hits the open road.  The production holds it back, as if the studio around her is operating in a lower gear than the lady at the mic.  It’s an early indication of how Warner Bros. would squander her talent for most of the eighties.

 

#173

“Never Be the Same”

Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey

1983

Written by Pam Tillis and Fred Koller

Produced by Dixie Gamble-Bowen and Jolly Hills Productions

This is a mature, backward-glancing look at an ongoing relationship.  She’s still a little too young to deliver this with the time and distance necessary to make it work.   She’ll revisit this idea on her Rhinestoned album, with a John Anderson duet that is much higher on the list.  I don’t know if she’s ever considered revisiting her earlier material, but she would knock this one out of the park now.

 

 

#172

“Do I Ever Cross Your Mind” (with Clay Cooper)

Duets

2009

Written by Dolly Parton

Pam is the highlight of this duet.  (Spoiler alert: she almost always is the highlight of a duet.)

Cooper is a Branson staple and he’s got a great voice.  Together, they give a breezy performance of the Dolly Parton standard.

Still, it’s docked a few points for leaving out the best part of the song: “Do you ever wake up lonely in the middle of the night because you miss me? Do you, darling?”  I don’t know what they were thinking, leaving that part out.

Other Voices:  Dolly PartonTrio

 

#171

“Love is Sneakin’ Up On You”

Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey

1983

Written by Pam Tillis, Pat Bunch, and Doris Tillis

Produced by Dixie Gamble-Bowen and Jolly Hills Productions

This was the second and final single pulled from Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey.

It features a woman determined to capture the heart of a beau who looks at love with suspicion.  There’s a track she wrote with Radney Foster on her Arista debut that explores the same idea with more miles in the rear view mirror, making it more impactful in the end.

How cool is it that her mom Doris got a co-writing credit on this?

 

#170

“All I Want For Christmas is You” (with Larry Stewart)

Everyday is Christmas

2015

Written by Walter Afanasieff and Mariah Carey

Produced by Brent Radar

This works surprisingly well.  Larry Stewart is still in fine voice, and Pam Tillis chooses nuance over histrionics, which makes this different enough from the Mariah Carey original to stand on its own.

Other Voices: Mariah Carey

 

#169

“Sometimes a Stranger Will Do”

Collection

~1985

Written by Pat Bunch, Mary Ann Kennedy, and Pat Roset

Produced by Barry Beckett

Another good song that Tillis would’ve slayed in the nineties, even if its slightly apologetic tone grounds it firmly in the eighties.  It’s a big step up from “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Easy.”

Other Voices: Kennedy Rose

 

#168

“If I Didn’t Love You”

Thunder & Roses

2001

Written by Tina Arena, Pam Reswick, and Steve Werfel

Produced by Billy Joe Walker Jr.

There was this brief window of time in Nashville where female artists were covering songs by Australian pop singer Tina Arena.  Wynonna had a top twenty hit with “Heaven Help My Heart” and Jo Dee Messina went top five with “Burn.”

“If I Didn’t Love You” isn’t on the same level as those two songs, even though Tillis gives a stronger reading of it than Arena did.  The lyrics are vaguely empowering but because they never establish what exactly it is that this guy is putting her through, it’s hard to tell if he’s abusive or just annoying.

The best part is the “don’t you take me down down, don’t you take me down down” riff in the bridge.

Other Voices: Tina Arena

 

 

#167

“Wish I Was in Love Tonight”

Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey

1983

Written by Pam Tillis, Callie Khouri, and Peter Wood

Produced by Dixie Gamble-Bowen and Jolly Hills Productions

The roster of songwriters on Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey would find a lot of success down the road, often because Tillis herself continued to collaborate with them.  Callie Khouri took a different route afterward, becoming an Oscar-winning screenwriter for Thelma and Louise.  Tillis not only contributed a song to the soundtrack, but also served as the inspiration for Thelma.

“Wish I Was in Love Tonight” has enough visual imagery in it to suggest the cinematic future that lay in store for Khouri.  It’s one of the best tracks on Cutey.

#166

“Brand New Me”

The Philly Soul Tribute Project

2009

Written by Theresa Bell, Jerry Butler, and Kenny Gamble

Pam revisits her R&B roots, bringing the vocal style she carefully honed over the years back to the genre.  The song is fine, but this is really a showcase for her versatility as a vocalist.  A jazz-flavored R&B album would be a very cool late career twist.

 

#165

“Home Misses You”

Never Forget…

2009

Written by Anita Cox and Lisa Crum

A 9/11 memorial project gave Tillis an opportunity to do a song about a soldier going off to war, from the perspective of the family left behind.  The song isn’t as well written as a more recent exploration of this idea, which Pam co-wrote with the wife and daughters of a fallen soldier.  We’ll get to that toward the end of the next section.

I like the musician references in “Home Misses You,” and Tillis is in fine voice.  It would all work better with a stripped down arrangement.

#164

“Betty’s Got a Bass Boat”

All of This Love

1995

Written by Bernie Nelson and Craig Wiseman

Produced by Pam Tillis

“Betty’s Got a Bass Boat” already felt like an anachronism on All of This Love when that album was released in late 1995, with Shania in full swing and redneck humor well on its way out the door.  It was a moment of pure insanity releasing it as a single in the summer of 1996.

The chorus is very catchy, but the songwriting overall is so clunky.  It’s like a female take on “High Tech Redneck.”

It felt at the time like this was going for a “Cleopatra” vibe, but that song worked so well because of the anger bubbling under its surface.  Betty’s just not as interesting a character to spend time with, especially given the company she keeps on All of This Love.  The river, highway, and tequila mockingbird are much more compelling!

Side note: Craig Wiseman co-wrote the lowest-ranked song from All of This Love, but he’ll show up again as co-writer of the highest-ranked song from Thunder & Roses.

 

 

#163

“Almost Over (Gettin’ Over You)” (with Billy Gilman)

Billy Gilman

2006

Written by Sandy Linzer and David Wolfert

Produced by Sandy Linzer

Yes, that’s child star Billy Gilman showing up with a delightful traditional country romp.

Tillis was a big influence on Gilman pursuing a country music career, so this is a nice full circle moment for him.

 

#162

“Dos Divas” (with Lorrie Morgan)

Dos Divas

2013

Written by Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, and Mark Oliverius

Produced by Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan

 It may not be “Mi Vida Loca,” but it’s not “He Drinks Tequila (She Talks Dirty in Spanish),” either.

The idea here is clever, and it works well as a duet between Tillis and Lorrie Morgan.  What throws it off is the tempo going wild in the chorus.

But it gets extra points for rhyming “Help me Jesus” with “dos divas.”  That’s hilarious.

 

#161

“Honey (Open That Door)” (with Ray Benson)

It’s All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis

2002

Written by Mel Tillis

Produced by Pam Tillis and Ray Benson

The instrumentation on It’s All Relative felt so fresh and so classic at the same time, making for a refreshing reset following the pop-leaning sounds of Thunder & Roses.  The fiddle work is fantastic.

Ray Benson is a good sport on this track, but you can tell this was originally written for a man to sing, with the woman there more as a plot device than anything else.

Other Voices: Ricky Skaggs

 

 

#160

“Thunder and Roses”

Thunder & Roses

2001

Written by Marv Green, Chris Lindsey, and Aimee Mayo

Produced by Kenny Greenberg

When Thunder & Roses was announced, the title was a surprise.  Was Pam naming her new album after a Mindy McCready cut from three years earlier?

She was, and though McCready sang it well, it shouldn’t be a shock that the Tillis cut is the superior one.

When McCready passed away, Tillis wrote the most heartfelt tribute from all of her contemporaries:

I’ll never forget when she first came out. We did a package show, a bunch of people just starting out … Neal McCoy, Mindy, myself, Toby Keith. Sometimes, if somebody has a really strong image, it almost eclipses their talent. So, I just thought of Mindy as this bombshell, and they were making her out to be the blond Shania. But she did a soundcheck and it was the first time I ever heard her sing. She sang ‘Long, Long Time’ and my jaw dropped. It was so stunningly beautiful. I never really forgot that moment. She was really a great singer but I think she was underappreciated.

Released as the second single from Thunder & Roses, this was Pam’s final single release for Arista Nashville.

Other Voices: Mindy McCready

 

 

#159

“Golden Ring” (with Jason Sellers)

A Matter of Time

1999

Written by Bobby Braddock and Rafe Van Hoy

Produced by Walt Aldridge

Jason Sellers co-wrote a lovely track on Sweetheart’s Dance, and Walt Aldridge co-wrote one of Pam’s top ten hits.  She does them both a solid here by duetting with Sellers on the classic divorce drama “Golden Ring.”

Sellers acquits himself nicely, and Tillis brings enough of her own unique phrasing to make the Wynette part her own.

Other Voices: George Jones & Tammy Wynette

 

#158

“I Ain’t Never”

It’s All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis

2002

Written by Mel Tillis and Webb Pierce

Produced by Pam Tillis and Ray Benson

“My friends say, ‘Tilly, what’s wrong with you?'”

This cover is worth its runtime for that line alone.

Like “Honey (Open That Door)” before it, “I Ain’t Never” hews closely to the sixties honky tonk style that her dad did so well.  This is a solid version of the song, but she doesn’t do as much with it creatively as the songs from this set that are higher on the list.

Other Voices:  Webb PierceMel Tillis 

 

#157

“Tennessee Nights”

Collection

~1985

Written by Jan Buckingham and Shawna Harrington

Produced by Marshall Morgan

Another early Tillis cut on Warner Bros. that cries out for a new recording of it.

“Tennessee Nights” taps into that same wistful longing for a long lost love that Tillis nailed with “Maybe it Was Memphis,” “Mandolin Rain,” and more recently, “Last Summer’s Wine.”

 

#156

“Long Drive to Dallas”

Live at the Renaissance Center

2005

Written by Ashley Gorley and Morgane Hayes

Produced by Matt Spicher

“Long Drive to Dallas” is the only new composition from her live DVD that hasn’t resurfaced on a studio album. “That Was a Heartache” appeared on Rhinestoned and “Demolition Angel” on 2020’s Looking For a Feeling.

The piano arrangement is beautiful.  This could be a great record with a few more flourishes in the studio.

 

#155

“Take Me”

God’s Country

2006

Written by George Jones and Leon Payne

Produced by Billy Joe Walker Jr. and Ray Termini

Another solid, faithful cover.  “Take Me” has never been one of my favorite Jones songs, mostly because of that Siberian section in the second verse sounding so awkward.

Tillis sings it well, slowing down the tempo and discarding the backing vocalists that dominated the Jones original.

Other Voices: George Jones

 

#154

“Have Yourself a Merry Lil’ Christmas”

Just in Time For Christmas

2005

Written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin

Produced by Pam Tillis and Matt Spicher

Tillis tapped into her jazz roots on her 2005 Christmas album, making it sound like Christmas Eve at a NYC juke joint from decades gone by.  It’s best heard as a collective experience, so this track doesn’t stand out quite as much on its own, despite blending seamlessly with its companions on the album itself.

 

 

#153

“Get Away Jordan” (with the Fairfield Four)

I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray

1997

Traditional

Produced by Mark Prentice and Lee Olsen

Released the same year as her Greatest Hits package for Arista, Tillis gave a preview of the years to come after she left that label.  She’s freed herself from genre limitations since then, effortlessly switching to R&B and gospel whenever the muse strikes.

She sounds so comfortable on this track, singing with an easy authority.   She really should do a gospel album.

 

#152

“Fine, Fine, Very Fine Love”

Homeward Looking Angel

1992

Written by Bob DiPiero and Jim Photoglo

Produced by Paul Worley and Ed Seay

Homeward Looking Angel was such an ambitious album in style and theme that “Fine, Fine, Very Fine Love” stood out as somewhat pedestrian. It’s a simple love song that would’ve fit better on her previous album.

Dusty Springfield did a cover down the road that is almost but not quite as good as the Tillis original, even though the arrangement is cooler.

Other Voices: Dusty Springfield

 

#151

“Building Bridges” (with Michael Martin Murphey)

Tonight We Ride

1986

Written by Michael Martin Murphey and Chick Rains

Produced by Jim Ed Norman

Now this is a pairing that makes sense.

Tillis is a perfect match for Michael Martin Murphey, adding a high lonesome element that complements his Western style.

How did Warner Bros. hear this and not realize they had an artist on their roster worth more investment than a singles deal?

 

Pam Tillis Ranked

Introduction | #188-#151 | #151-#101 |

#100-#76 | #75-#51 | #50-#26 | #25-#1

6 Comments

  1. This is really extraordinary! Nowhere else on the internet have I found anyone willing to go as deep into the weeds as yall. Looking forward to reading this whole feature. To be honest I haven’t really heard much of her music, but a project like this I’m sure will show me loads of great stuff I haven’t heard before.

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  2. Stray thoughts here:

    I love Rhonda Vincent, but that rendition of “Twelve Days Of Christmas,” which is literally always a nightmare, feels like it is a lifetime long. My God. The idea that you have Pam Tillis in the studio to sing on your record– any record– and have her sing the words, “three French hens,” and then just..: leave? What in the actual hell. Did Pam show up, record that one half line first, realize that, no, her day wasn’t going to get any better from there, and just peace out? I need an oral history of this record.

    I love that you included Pam’s commentary on poor doomed Mindy McCready who, I agree, was and is underappreciated. So few within the industry ever seemed to afford her any grace or kindness; how unsurprising that someone of Pam’s empathy would do so.

    I had no idea that Dusty Springfield track existed, and I’m instantly obsessed with the arrangement. My favorite rendition of “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind”– by anyone, period– is by Joan Osborne.

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  3. Great choice of artist for this feature! On a side note, will the Trisha Yearwood retrospective ever be returned to and completed?

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  4. Interesting concept – I always felt that Pam should have done an entire album with MMM.

    Although I was very happy that Pam did the tribute album to her father, I didn’t regard it as one of her better albums. I really disliked her version of “Heart Over Mind”; I really loved “Emotions” and “Violet and a Rose”.

    Otherwise, I much preferred her dad’s versions, or the hit versions by the likes of Ray Price (“Burning Memories”, “Heart over Mind”), Webb Pierce (“I Ain’t Never”), Ricky Skaggs and/or Webb Pierce (“Honey Open That Door”), Faron Young (“Unmitigated Gall”) and Billy Grammer and/or Bobby Bare (“Detroit City”).

    Obviously, her best is still to come, and I look forward to reading it.

  5. Just wanted to say that I’m really loving this, so far! This is such a cool idea for a new feature, and just the fact that y’all are willing to dig this deep into an artist’s discography is one of the things that keeps me coming back to CU. Pam Tillis is a perfect choice for this since she didn’t get anywhere near enough coverage on the 90’s Number Ones. As someone who’s always been a big fan of hers, I’ve already learned so much more about her and her career than I ever did before!

    Now a few random thoughts:

    I actually really loved “Romeo” when it first came out in early 1993 and thought it was one of the coolest new things! I remember getting excited about the song’s video when they were talking about it and showing a preview clip of it on TV back then. It was just so cool seeing all of these artists I knew all together in the same video having fun. I remember getting a laugh out of Kathy Mattea in the end asking “What kind of jeans are those anyway?!” lol. As you said, though, I often forget that Pam was a part of it, since she wasn’t featured in the video. I admit that this is still a guilty pleasure for me. :)

    “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” is another very fun collaboration from the early 90’s that I still enjoy today. Just another example of how country music in those days seemed more like a big family. I’m totally with you though that Patty and Pam should’ve had a separate part for each of them instead of just putting them together (though they did sound good together).

    Since I’m mostly used to hearing her more traditional country leaning music on Arista from the 90’s, it still blows my mind to hear her more pop/rock/r&b stuff from early in her career. She certainly has the voice to be able to pull off those styles as well, though, and I’m not gonna lie, I found myself enjoying a few of those Above and Beyond The Doll Of Cutey (What a cute and clever name for an album!) cuts, especially since I also enjoy a lot of 80’s music in general. I caught one of the 80’s pop videos she did on YouTube and couldn’t believe it is the Pam Tillis that I’d enjoy hearing throughout my childhood in the 90’s. So cool!

    The 2001 Thunder and Roses album is probably the closest she ever came to chasing radio trends (early 00’s pop country), and yet, it’s still a pretty enjoyable album for me, and for the most part, it’s quality pop country that’s still for adults. I actually quite like the title track, and I also like “If I Didn’t Love You.” The bridge is also my favorite part of the latter song. I’m also with y’all in that Mindy McCready was and is severely underappreciated. I love her 1999 I’m Not So Tough album, which houses her version of “Thunder and Roses.”

    Jason Sellers is one of many artists who started in the late 90’s that deserved better, imo. Love both of his albums! He and Pam do a good job on “Golden Ring,” and I like their slightly different take on it. Can’t lie though, I’ve never been too big on the song itself, though (sacrilege I know), and I often find it overplayed on many classic country outlets.

    I never knew she did a duet with Michael Martin Murphey, and finding about it here is so cool. About to go check it out now….and I quite like it! This is such a good slice of unknown 80’s neo-traditional country, and they both sound great together! About to go add it to my main 80’s and early 90’s country Spotify playlist.

  6. For what it’s worth, I’ve actually seen “Rustlers’ Rhapsody.” “Sidewinder’s Symphony” does not actually appear in the film.

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